Home Invasions: How to Protect Your Property

WASHINGTON COUNTY, Md. - A number of home invasions have hit the four-state region recently, and law enforcement officials in Washington County say there are many ways to protect yourself and prevent a home break in. 

"Anytime you have a burglary or anytime you have a home invasion, there is a reason for that," said Sheriff Doug Mullendore, Washington County Sheriff's Office.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office say they have not seen a home invasion in 2014, but handled a series of them last year. They said residents should be aware of how to protect themselves so intruders do not have a reason to barge in.

"A locked door is a barrier. When we think about crime prevention in the home we think about establishing a barrier. So when people are looking for an easy target to access they may not choose your home because it is not as simple of a target as another home," said Sgt. James Holsinger, Washington County Sheriff's Office.

In the summer police say there are daily activities to be aware of that keep you vulnerable to intruders.

"Often times in the summer time we have a tendency to leave the windows up in the nighttime because we like that fresh air, but that just inviting for someone who wants to do a burglary or a home invasion," said Sheriff Mullendore.

Police say the current trend in home invasions is drug related, but all residents should know how to protect themselves.

"The first thing you should do is call 911, even if you cant talk, just the fact there is an open line 911 will get the address from the residence based off of the information and they will dispatch law enforcement to check the circumstances," said Mullendore.

Also residents should know how to distract intruders.

"If you have a car alarm on your car and you have remote, if you have that with you, hit your car alarm; whether the car is in the garage or outside, if there are neighbors around it is going to alert the neighbors of something going on," said Sheriff Mullendore.

Police say they want to rid the county of these crimes but will need help from residents to keep the county safe.

"My hope is that we are able to secure all homes in Washington County and move the crime out of the area," said Sgt. Holsinger.

The Washington County Sheriff's Office says they offer residential and commercial security surveys for all residents that want to learn how to protect themselves and their property.

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